Fintech startup Alternative Circle, has a new Chairperson. Mr. John Ngumi, whose tenure has already started, will be heading the financial company, which has outed a loan app called Shika that is still in beta, but is widely available for download for Android users only – for the moment.
Mr. Ngumi has more than 35 years corporate and investment banking experience. He takes this new position having retired from the Standard Bank Group East Africa, where he held served as the Director of Investment Banking Coverage Division for the same region. At the same time, he has also served, under different capacities for Citibank, Barclays Bank, Grindlays Bank and National Westminster Bank. He is also one of the co-founders of Loita Capital Partners, which is one of locally-owned independent investment banks.
It is apparent that Alternative Circle needed a person with vast experience in development of financial markets product and services. It also certainly appears that Mr. Ngumi will bring his experience in the said fields and help the company grow.
We have tested Alternative Circle’s product before, and while we loved its approach to mobile loans (functionally, it is the same as other loan apps) and great, modern design, the product still faces key issues that are yet to be resolved. For instance, after signing up for the service and applied for a loan, I formatted my device, re-downloaded the app but haven’t been able to login ever since. It is an issue that I followed up with Shika’s help desk via an email exchange, which, unfortunately, did not lead to an amicable solution.
We hope that these issues will be resolved as the company gears toward growth.